Archiv für die Kategorie „Leadership“

Jens #Hacke, Universität Halle/Wittenberg, hat in der aktuellen #Cicero Ausgabe den „Volksparteien“ in Deutschland die Agenda für ihre künftigen Grundsatzprogramme ans Herz gelegt. Ich bin gespannt, was die Generalsekretäre daraus zimmern.

Die bürgerlichen und zivilgesellschaftlichen Anliegen seien (meine Reihenfolge):

Forcierung der umweltpolitischen Maßnahmen, wirksame Armutsbekämpfung in unserer Wohlstandsgesellschaft, konsistente Bildungspolitik, klare gesetzliche Regelung der Einwanderung, entschlossene Intergration, Pflege der öffentlichen Räume, politische Einhegung des globalen Finanzkapitalismus und die Förderung des Mittelstandes.


Die deutsche Automobilindustrie ist für unsere Volkswirtschaft wichtig. Mit 815 000 Mitarbeitern haben MB, BMW und VW in den letzten sechs Jahren € 190 Mrd. Gewinn (Umsatz 450 Mrd.)erzielt.

Im Dieselskandal ist die Industrie eher mit ihrer sehr guten (?) Lobbyarbeit  als mit deutscher Ingenieurkunst „aufgefallen“.

Nachdem die Gesetzgebung verlangte, dass die Abgaswerte (Stickoxide oder NOx) nicht im Labor/Prüfstand erfüllt sein müssen, sondern auf der Straße, gelang den Lobbyisten ein Geniestreich.

Sie erfanden den Konformitätsfaktor. Er mildert mathematisch den realen NOx Ausstoß ( Real Driving Emissions)  herunter und erlaubt legal höher Verbrauchswerte auf der Straße als im Labor. Zunächst überzeugte die Lobby die EU Kommission und die Bundesregierung von dem Konzept. Dann feilschten sie erfolgreich um den Wert des Faktors.

Die EU Kommission schlug einen Wert von 1,6 später in 5 Jahren 1,2 vor.  Ein Fahrzeug konnte also legal auf  der Straße 128 mg Stickoxid pro km abgeben. Der Konformitätsfaktor bringt diesen Schadstoffausstoß auf die rechnerische Größe 80 (das politische Ziel Regierung), eine Messtoleranz von 60 % . Nach fünf Jahren würde dann die Fehlertoleranz auf 20 Prozent gebracht. Der Konformitätsfaktor sollte also nicht die Abgase verringern, sondern sie diente dazu, den PKW Bestand an Dieselmotoren mit maximal 90 Prozent  zu legitimieren. Die Umweltverbänden (DUH) nennen das: Schutz der Motoren statt Schutz unserer Lungen.

Die Lobbisten waren mit diesem „Betrug“ an den Umweltzielen noch nicht zufrieden. Sie forderten dreist zunächst einen Konformitätsfaktor von 2,2 (Messtoleranz  220 Prozent!) und danach 1,6 bis 1,5.

Das Ergebnis: am 3.02.2016 stimmt das Europäische Parlament dem „Dieseldeal“ mit den Werten  2,1 und später 1,5. Das Gesetz tritt diesen September in Kraft.

Ein Hoch auf die Lobby. Sie kann besser die Politik tunen als Ihre Dieselaggregate.

Quelle: DIE ZEIT vom 3.08.2017

Die wichtigsten Trends faßt Helmut Scholl, CEO der reflact AG, unter dem Stichwort blended learning 2.0 wie folgt zusammen:

  1. MOOCs ( Massive Open Online Courses
    • Coursera, USA
    • Udacity ( mit Moderatoren), USA
    • edX ( Partner der TU München, USA
    • Iversity, Deutschland
    • Platform des Plattner Institut, Deutschland ( Potsdam)
    • Platform der Leuphana, Deutschland Lüneburg)
  2. Gamification
    • Sichtbarer Status (Fortschrittsanzeige)
    • Rangliste
    • Quest (Suchmission)
    • Transparenz des Resultats
    • Tieferer Sinn („Epic Meaning“)
  3. Micro learning
    • persönliche Webblog Einträge
    • You Tube, Webcast
    • Bookmark
    • Bildschirmschoner, die den Benutzer auffordern kurze Folgen von einfachen Aufgaben zu lösen
    • Multiple-choice Quiz auf einem Handy mittels SMS oder mobilen Anwendungen
    • Wort des Tages als täglicher RSS-Feed oder E-Mail
    • Lernkartei-Software zum Merken von Inhalten durch Wiederholung mit Zeitabständen
  4. Blended learning ( integriertes Lernen)
    • combining Internet and digital media with established classroom forms that require the physical co-presence of teacher and students
    • sychrones Lernen und asynchrones Lernen
    • Individuelles und Soziales Lernen
  5. Mobile Learning
    • die Lerninhalte müssen kleine Lernbrocken – man spricht auch von Nuggets – sein, die sich leicht zwischendurch konsumieren lassen
    • Umgebungsgeräusche und Ablenkungen müssen berücksichtigt werden
    • eine Unterbrechung des Lernens muss jederzeit möglich sein und die spätere Wiederaufnahme des Lernens soll ebenfalls problemlos machbar sein
  6. Personalization
    • dynamic insertion, customization or suggestion of content in any format that is relevant to the individual user
    • based on the user’s implicit behaviour and preferences, and explicitly given details
  7. Flipped classroom
    • content aquisition selfaced
    • application in the class room
  8. Learning communities
    •  Group of people who share common emotions , values or beliefs, are actively engaged in learning together from each other, and by habituation
  9. Learning analytics (for individual learners to reflect on their achievements, as predictors of students requiring extra support and attention)
    • SNAPP – a learning analytics tool that visualizes the network of interactions resulting from discussion forum posts and replies.
    • LOCO-Analyst – a context-aware learning tool for analytics of learning processes taking place in a web-based learning environment
    • SAM – a Student Activity Monitor intended for Personal Learning Environments
    • BEESTAR INSIGHT – a real-time system that automatically collects student engagement and attendance & provides analytics tools and dashboards for students, teachers & management

Within the Gemini Alumni community there is an interesting conversation going on what the reasons might be that this great consulting firm went out of the market.

Some believe that CAP, the French IT mother company, destroyed it, others believe that we did not realized the change in customer needs (from process to ERP Systems) and thus our business model did no longer work.

I wanted to add some hypothesis to this conversation which might be helpful to understand the matter.

I joined Gemini as an SVP/officer in 1992 when we sold our GTP companies to Gemini Consulting. Having this as a background for you here is my reasoning:

Quality of officers: During my first attendance in such a meeting (it was in Euro Disney near Paris) some 100 officers tried to built a profitable budget for the coming year. We failed. Reason was that a signicant number of officers had a uitilzation of ZERO. When I raised my voice that I do not want to work with officers which do no work with clients anymore David Tiger pulled me aside and coached me with the words: Believe me no client would pay any money for them.

Profitability: In all subsequent officer meetings I  attended we were telling Jalabert and jpdA we need to pay our folks a bonus but we have not earned the cash to pay it. Please help! Our business model (after all those expensive acqusitions which we paid not with Cap but Gemini money) never generated operating profit which could cover return on equity, interest and bonus. Such companies die sooner or later.

complex organisation: When GTP was bought by Gemini  we we earned interest, return on equity and bonuses (as did MAC, UR Bossard et al). Two years later  we were organized globally  in GMT, Disciplines, Processes and what have you. We were one the few companies in the wolrd which run a mail/repository system on MAC. All great stuff. Profit? Inexistent.

lack of leadership: David Tiger in his UR times was a great leader. I admired him a great deal. But I also hold him accountable for the sequence of poor leadership decisions he and Cap made: Remember: Titze failed to become head of Gemini ( he did not get the  support of the US biased GMT leaders), Valentino made the race but was cornered by Kelly and Titze (office of the CEO), Wallace followed, Davis, Hessler. In one word a nightmare.

In a nut shell: Gemini was a role model for weak leadership succession and expensive M&A.


But: I had a great time there and enjoyed client work with great folks.

In the may edition of theHRB, authored by Mr. Nonaka, I found a great list of key leadership chararkteristics which are worth to be shared:


„A leader

understands quickly the essence of a problem

draws general conclusions from random observations

acts immediately

will do what he believes is right and good for the comapny and the society

can move people

uses metaphors, stories and rhetoric

displays good values and strong principles

A great list I found. very helpful.


Each sunday the New York Times runs in its business section an interview with managers.

Managers qualify for an interview when they are prepared to share with Adam Bryant mistakes, deficits in decision making, behavioral shortcomings and the like.

Meanwhile the newspapaer has released 70 interviews. Bryant has destilled 5 characteristics of great managers which were recently displaed in the German weekly „Spiegel“.

Here is what I understood:

  1. He or she is extremly curious about people and matters; Curiousity is to them the major source for learning.
  2. He or she has „fought many fights“ and has a high level of confidence drawn out of the experiences with a strong bias to ever improve the current level of performance
  3. He or she appriciates the benefits of teamplay.They know how to leverage the strength of a team effort and is more than prepared to take individual repsonsibility within the team in case the team gets under pressure.
  4. He or she is great and quick with analysis of a plot and is able to communicate findings and conclusions in a compelling  metaphor rich language.
  5. He or she has courage.

I regularly use those 5 characteristics to judge my performance and to asses the managerial talent of people I work with.

The link to these great article is Corner office

Der Konferenzsaal in der rue de Tilsitt,Place l‘ Etoile ist mit 30 Mangern, die 20 Mrd. € Geschäft verantworten, eng besetzt. Die beiden Geschäftslinie „IT Services“ und „Consulting“ sind nicht mit der Perfomance der jeweils anderen Geschäftslinie zufrieden.

Europäer und die Amerikaner machen sich gegeneinander Vorwürfe.

Die Franzosen und Eigentümer wollen diesen Konflikt gleich gar nicht in einem Meeting haben.

Die Berater haben das Meeting initiert, um die Konflikte zu benennen und in einer „facilitation weg zu moderieren“.

Ich spreche von Cap Gemini 1996.

Die amerikanisch dominierten Berater haben ihren Interims CEO vorgeschickt, die Botschaft zu überbringen.

Er weiss, dass die „Botschaft“ seinen Vertrag kosten kann.

Sein Vortrag beginnt mit den Worten:

There are 3 big lies in corporate America:

1. prespitarians don’t drink alcohol
2. I am from corporate and I am here to help
3. speak open to me, it stays among us.

Dann lieferte er seine „Botschaft“.

3 Monate später haten wir einen neuen CEO Consulting.

During the briefing session with the client I heard during multiple occasions :

„You know, we know the root causes our weak performance, we know the means to create change: yet our problem is the implementation of them“

Experience have proofed more often than not, that this statement does not hold true.

A pretty simple tool to validate this is the following.

List in oral fashion with the client the key „answers“ which suppose to  adress the problem they face.  Just probe a few.

Next step in the conversation is to identify the questions which are related to the answers.

More often than not, the client has some issues to spell the questions out.

In my experience are only few question properly designed and as such a help to drive a proper piece of analytic. In other words the analytic is not properly done. And the set of answers sits on shacky foundation.

Sometimes client push back that exercises.

They think that the consultant wants to sell a redoing of the analysis.

That is though not the point.

In reality it proofs that finding ansers is earsier (and createsmore incentives for the intellect) than designing the right questions.

Another benefit of that small  exercise is that you easily identify true leaders.

She/he is the one with the smartes questions.

Once I worked for the board member of a German beauty care company. He was in charge for the most important division of that stock company. Our task was to anticipate changes in the trade network and suggest appropriate actions to thrive with this process. When our presentation was finished we got nice complements for the rigor of our work. The board member concluded the meeting by saying:

„great piece of recommendation. I postpone actions until later“


We were really disappointed…

Few months later he was appointed CEO and implemented the recos and earned some nice quick wins.

„You know, Hans Jürgen, in our environment innovation and growth is limited. We are in a mature market which is highly regulated“,  said the CEO of one of the largest testing and certification enterprises in Germany.“ The „five force analysis“ has shown,“he continued,  „that we are in a pretty unattractive market.“

My reply to him was actually a question? „I am sure You have read the essential work of Paul Romer?: I guess,  he does not agree with Your assessment“. „Actually not, I have to confess, tell me about his work“, he replied.

Here is my synopsis to him.

Paul Romer called it a failure of imagination if enterprises believe that all instituitions have been designed and that all business models have been found.

He motivated leaders to explore new territory and be prepared to discover wonderful surprises.

Ante Romer we all believed that growth is exogeniously determined.

So, not achieving growth was not the leaders problem. It was outside of his reach.

If there was no technological change hitting his market he was not able to create top line growth.

Romer argued differently: growth is a matter of intentional management i.e it is endogenous. 

His credo: with better management  and governance  enterprises can be set on a different and better trajectory for growth.

He pointed out as well that forms of discovery such as product and process engineering or the development of new business models are important. But they are not sufficent enough. The ability of a enterprise to build on previous discoveries, may they be developed inside or outside the given enterprise is a core competence. 

Essentially the key to growth is imagination and the competence to rearrange resources in a unique fashion.

It is the belief of leaders that the possibilites do not add up. They multiply.

The CEO concluded our conversation: „No excuse, right?“ .

April 2019
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